5 Steps to Improve Conversion Rates

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Whether you’re redesigning your website or starting from scratch, you need to make sure that whatever you have online is converting users.

Some sites sell products while others measure success by how many users contact them; either way, you have to be able to determine what’s working.

There are many ways to test your website, but the most important step is to just get started. You can debate with colleagues about color and style for weeks, but in the end you have to let the users determine what works and what doesn't.

1. Examine Your Current Situation

Before you begin changing every element on your website in the name of conversion rates, it’s best to review your current situation. Look at your analytics and see how your site and keywords are performing at the present moment.

I see people all the time that want to make drastic changes, but they never take the time to analyze what is happening right now. After six months of edits, you may find that you really don’t know what you’ve accomplished because you didn’t take the time to understand what factors were impacting performance at the outset.

2. Determine Realistic Goals

Most websites have a purpose. Whether you want people to email you, pick up the phone and call you, or buy your products, you need to make sure that your message is clear. Determine what you want your users to do and then decide how to attack it.

3. Page Layout Adjustments

In order to get users to do what you want, you have to make the choices very obvious. Have you ever noticed that a lot of landing pages are usually single columns? Since single column pages aren’t like every other page on your website they immediately get the user’s attention.

Single column layouts are also nice because they get rid of the excess noise on the page. There are no twinkling banner ads, no confusing navigation, and no lists of recent post to distract you from the objectives of the page.

When you eliminate the extras, users are more inclined to do what you want. Take a look at your most important pages and see if there is any noise that could be eliminated.

4. Graphic Adjustments

If done correctly, graphic adjustments on your page can drastically affect the way users interact with your site. Here are a few ways to tweak your site:

  1. Test variations of your navigation
  2. Test variations of product shots
  3. Add captions to your product shots
  4. Use creative graphics to get the users attention
  5. Test different call-outs
  6. Put the most important features above the fold

5. Content Adjustments

Content can be one of the best ways to increase your conversions because at the end of the day, hopefully users are reading your content to understand your message.

You can spend the rest of your life tweaking content and ideally for the life of your website you should be. Here are a few ways to make some adjustments to keep the user involved:

  1. Test headline sizes and colors
  2. Increase or decrease the amount of content
  3. Feature benefits
  4. Use lists
  5. Feature testimonials

The important thing to remember about converting visitors is that it takes patience and diligence. A lot of your testing time frame is going to depend on your traffic. If you get 10,000 visitors a day, you could get away with testing a particular landing page for only a few weeks, but most sites don’t receive that much traffic, so you’ll have to conduct your tests over a longer period of time.

Google offers website optimizer, a powerful tool that makes it easy to test pages. You can test all of the suggestions above with their tool and easily keep track of your results. After running a series of tests on your own site you will be able to determine the most effective layout and content as well as identify new ways to continue improving your conversion rates.

The overall message here is that you have to run tests to find results. You don’t have to have multiple websites with thousands of pages to get results; you can simply tweak one page at a time on your five page site to determine what’s working. So get in the game and start testing!

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